Is the Bible “TRUE”?
What role is Faith in accepting the Bible as truth?
Textual quotes in this article are from:  Sproul, R. C. (2009). Can I Trust the Bible? (Vol. 2, pp. xxviii–xxix). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.
Transmission and Translation
Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appear to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error free.
Similarly, no translation is or can be perfect, and all translations are an additional step away from the autographa. Yet the verdict of linguistic science is that English-speaking Christians, at least, are exceedingly well served in these days with a host of excellent translations and have no cause for hesitating to conclude that the true Word of God is within their reach. Indeed, in view of the frequent repetition in Scripture of the main matters with which it deals and also of the Holy Spirit’s constant witness to and through the Word, no serious translation of Holy Scripture will so destroy its meaning as to render it unable to make its reader “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).
The base of the argument:
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy rightly affirms that “the authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age.” But authority cannot stand in isolation, as the statement shows. The authority of the Bible is based on the fact that it is the written Word of God. Because the Bible is the Word of God and because the God of the Bible is truth and speaks truthfully, the Bible’s authority is linked to inerrancy. If the Bible is the Word of God and if God is a God of truth, then the Bible must be inerrant—not merely in some of its parts, as some modern theologians are saying, but totally, as the church for the most part has said down through the ages of its history.
It might be worth while to have a listing of these nineteen (19) Atrticles of Affirmation for a quick reference. Thus Listed below are the nineteen “Nineteen Articles of Affirmation and Denial”
- We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God. We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the church, tradition, or any other human source.
- We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the church is subordinate to that of Scripture. We deny that church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
- We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God. We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.
- We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation. We deny that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God’s work of inspiration.
- We affirm that God’s revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive. We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.
- We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration. We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.
- We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us. We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.
- We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared. We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
- We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the biblical authors were moved to speak and write. We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God’s Word.
- We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original. We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
- We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.
- We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit. We deny that biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.
- We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture. We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.
- We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture. We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible.
- We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration. We deny that Jesus’ teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.
- We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the church’s faith throughout its history. We deny that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism.
- We affirm that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God’s written Word. We deny that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in isolation from or against Scripture.
- We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.
- We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ. We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the church.
A SHORT STATEMENT
1. God, who is Himself truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the church.
Several Quotes of interest on the subject of “Faith”:
1492 Pulling On Both Oars
An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers. One day a passenger noticed that the good old man had carved on one oar the word “Faith,” and on the other oar the word “Works.” Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this. The old man, being a well-balanced Christian and glad of the opportunity for testimony, said, “I will show you.”
So saying, he dropped one oar and plied the other called Works, and they just went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to ply the oar called Faith, and the little boat just went around in circles again—this time the other way around, but still in a circle.
After this demonstration the old man picked up Faith and Works and plying both oars together, sped swiftly over the water, explaining to his inquiring passenger, “You see, that is the way it is in the Christian life. Dead works without faith are useless, and “faith without works is dead” also, getting you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing.”
1495 Reduced Into One Law
Rabbi Simlai in the third century noted that Moses gave us 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands. David in Psalm 15 reduced them to eleven: Isaiah—in 33:14, 15—made them six: Micah 6:8 binds them into three: and Habakkuk reduces them all to one, namely—”The just shall live by faith.”
1496 Faith And Doubt
Doubt sees the obstacles.
Faith sees the way!
Doubt sees the darkest night,
Faith sees the day!
Doubt dreads to take a step.
Faith soars on high!
Doubt questions, “Who believes?”
Faith answers, “I!”
1497 By Faith Not Sight
Sometimes I’m sad, I know not why
My heart is sore distressed;
It seems the burdens of this world
Have settled on my heart.
And yet I know … I know that God
Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
To walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
And though I may not see the way
He’s planned for me to go,
The way seems dark to me just
But oh, I’m sure He knows!
Today He guides my feeble step
Tomorrow’s in His right …
He has asked me to never fear …
But walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
Some day the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
I’ll see the beauty in the flowers,
I’ll hear the bird’s refrain,
And then I’ll know my Father’s hand
Has led the way to light
Because I placed my hand in His
And walked by FAITH … not SIGHT.
—Ruth A. Morgan
1498 Umbrellas And Faith
A colored church congregation had met to pray for rain to release a long dry spell. The preacher looked severely at his flock and said:
“Brothers and Sisters, you ll knows why we is here. Now what I wants to know is—where is yo’ umbrellas?”
1499 Epigram On Faith
• Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.
• Faith is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.
• Faith is idle when circumstances are right, only when they are adverse is one’s faith in God exercised. Faith, like muscle, grows strong and supple with exercise.
• Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
—David Lloyd George
• A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.
• Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will!
• Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
• Faith in God is indispensable to successful statesmanship.
See also: Belief; Trust; Rev 2:19.
 Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (pp. 404–405). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.